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Setting Up a Joystick

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Setting Up a Joystick, Yoke, or Rudder Pedals

We'll go through the basics of setting up flight controls here. These instructions are taken from version 9.22. Further updates may change some of the specifics of the instructions. Full detail on this process (including troubleshooting) can be found in Chapter 3 of the manual. We will first set the axes (the forward/back and left/right movement of the controls), then we’ll discuss setting up the buttons on the controls.

Note: When using a joystick or other hardware, it will need to be plugged in before starting X-Plane. If it is not, X-Plane will not see the input devices.

1. Open X-Plane and move your mouse to the top of the screen, causing the menu to appear.
2. Click on Settings (as per the image below), then Joystick & Equipment.
3. Move your joystick or yoke forward and back. A green or red bar should move as you do so (see the screenshot below). Click the drop-down menu next to it and set it to pitch. Do not check the reverse box next to this control unless, when flying, the aircraft’s pitch control (movement of the nose up and down) is working backward.
4. Move your joystick/yoke left and right. The green or red bar that moves as you do so should be set to roll. Do not check the reverse box next to this control unless, when flying, the aircraft’s roll control (movement of the wings up and down) is working backward.
5. Twist your joystick (if applicable). The green or red bar that moves should be set to yaw. If you don’t assign a yaw axis, X-Plane will attempt to stabilize it for you. Once again, do not check the reverse box unless, when flying, the aircraft’s yaw control (movement of the nose side to side, like the reaction of a boat to rudder control) is working backward.
If using rudder pedals instead of a twisting joystick, slide them forward and backward and set the green bar that moves then to yaw.
Additionally, only when using rudder pedals, press the left pedal down with your toes. The bar that moves should be set to left toe brake. Do the same for the right pedal, and set that bar to right toe brake. If this is done, you may also skip steps 8 through 11 below.
Move your throttle forward and back. On a yoke, this is typically the leftmost lever. Set this bar to throttle. Check the reverse box only if, when flying, the aircraft’s throttle control works backward.
6. Move all the control axes (that is, pitch, yaw, roll, and throttle) through their full range of motion to calibrate the controls.
7. To assign a button to the brakes, click the Buttons: Basic tab at the top of the screen (as seen in the screenshot below). If only a single Buttons tab is available, the software has not been updated to the most current release. Instructions on updating can be found in Chapter 2, Part VII of the manual (though, in the mean time, the instructions may be followed using the outdated Buttons tab).
8. Press the button on your joystick that you would like to assign to brakes, then release it.
9. Using the mouse, click the round button to the left of Toggle brakes regular effort (found at the top of the third column of the window, selected in the previous screenshot).
10. Close the Joystick & Equipment menu with either of the X buttons at the top of the screen, or by pressing the Enter key on your keyboard.

Note that additional buttons can be set up in the same way as the button for the brakes--while in the Buttons tab, press the button on the joystick, then select its function from the list.